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been around the same circle, several times now, gave up on onboard realtek and purchased a turtle beach Catalina touted to deliver 5.1.. Not.

My next purchase will be ammunition... lol

The foundation of my HTPC is an ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe, featuring optical/coax SPDIF out.

My goal is to interface that unit with my Marantz audio/video sr870, through the matched Marantz digital processor DP870 with optical/coax input.

The realtek app features a SPDIF output, but all I get is the front. No center,surround or sub, regardless of speaker config in the app. (although I did hear an attempt at "virtual" 5.1 in the test app with the front L and R pronouncing "center", giving a vague aproximation of center.But the center itself was silent.) I am not struggling to achive "virtual", I have the correct hardware for the real thing. The system also has a matched Marantz DVD player, and when employed, delivers the real thing, but from the HTPC, front only, music or DVD, even with windvd that has multi channel support.

the TB Catalina features SPDIF in, and out, optical. Again, I get front only. And yes, I removed the realtek drivers, and disabled the onboard in CMOS prior to installing the Catalina.

I have ensured the latest drivers for both (realtek and turtle beach)

The support tech(s) at ASUS have had me config the realtek speaker app to 2 chan. and the Windows sound app at 5.1, to no avail. which leads me to suspect a software issue...?

To achive 5.1 for my music, movies and DTV would be great, but at this point, I may settle for having a salesman or tech rep bleed at my feet.


mobo- ASUS A8N SLI deluxe

AMD64 3200+

ATI HD Wonder

ATI X800XL

Realtek ALC850 8chan codec OR TurtleBeach Catalina

! gig mem

XP Media Center 2005


I dont know, but i have done all i can do, so I seek a higher power.

Therefore I emplore the gods of the AVS forum to smile upon me this day, and deliver me from the tempest of general disenchantment that fogs my mind.


I Thank you for enduring such a lengthy post, I hope I put it in the right place

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I assume when you say 5.1, you mean from WMA sources? There are 2 cards that can do this over SPDIF, the Mystique and the Turtle Beach. There are some older NForce 2 motherboards that can as well. That's it.
 

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Ther are two things to keep in mind when it comes to HTPC 5.1 audio.

First is DD/DTS passthrough w/ DVD and Hidef .ts files. You have to configure your DVD player or codecs if you're using a DVD front end like Zoom Player to use spdif. That way, it just passes all the audio data from the DVD to your pre/pro.

Second, if you play non-DD/DTS encoded material like games or WMVHD files, then your spdif out will downmix to 2 channel only. That seems to be what you're experiencing at the moment.

So for now, setup your DVD player to use passthrough. That multichannel support w/ Windvd is for analog output only. That means if your PC does not have a hardware DD decoding soundcard on it, then Windvd uses your CPU to decode DD/DTS to output on the analog hookups at the back of the card. I hope you get all this...

If you want 5.1 through spdif w/ non encoded DD/DTS sources, then you will need a card like the Turtle beach Montego w/ Dolby Digital Live. It uses your CPU to ENCODE non dd sources to a DD bitstream to output through spdif. Looks like you got the wrong turtle beach card....mike.....

PS. You can also connect the minijack analog outs from the soundcard to your 6 channel input of your pre/pro. But digital encoding is better IMHO.
 
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